As I was reading through my favourite woodworking magazines this week I discovered an interesting answer from one of the authors Greg Klassen to the question, “What was the best part of the day while studying in Sweden?” The answer was, “Fika – it’s a break everyone takes in Sweden twice a day to stop for half an hour and chat over coffee.”
What is your coffee culture?
Swedes consider having a coffee an important part of the culture. You can fika at work by taking a “coffee break”, fika with someone like a “coffee date”, or just drink a cup of coffee. I hear you protesting already – “I don’t have enough time to get the things done that I need to do now, how can I take this time?” or “Even if I think this is a good idea, my employer would never go for it.”
Coffee and Productivity
“Coffee breaks should not be considered a ‘waste’ of productivity,” said Dr. Pernille Stroebaek from the University of Copenhagen. “Coffee breaks have important social, and potentially monetary, value for organizations. Coffee breaks should be treated as communal practices that allow communities of coping to develop.”
“As Fineman and Sturdy (2001) have suggested it is important to allow such activities into research on meaning constitution and emotion in organization as much human creativity happens here. As workers meet informally over a cup a coffee in the corners and corridors of their workplace they create a social scene that allows conversations taking place in “hidden transcripts” in the “offstage” or in the outside of the hearing of the management or of other power holders, such as clients and customers (Scott 1990).”
What is Stopping You?
Maybe you can’t work the full half hour twice a day into the schedule but why not try ten minutes? Working remotely? Try arranging you and a colleague having a casual phone or online conversation over a coffee. You may find your sense community grows as does your creativity and productivity. Tell us below what you hope to do with this.
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